The story starts off with giggling girls wondering who will get asked to dance at a party known for creating life-long partners.
I know, I know. I’m silly to be annoyed by a ‘coming of age’ premise in a YA novel because that is the age when those sorts of things happen… but I am always hoping for a wee bit more than some ‘tweener embracing her newfound magical hormonal powers and finding a freaking boyfriend.
Thankfully, The Scourge offers up more in the form of:
Fennel has the mighty task of being the Water Bearer for her people because her limited vision is alleged to allow her to walk unharmed among the roaming packs of diseased and cannibalistic humans that have plagued the countryside for generations. No one in her community knows why being blind offers up this near magical protection from the Scourge. Nor do they know if it will work every time. They simply push Fennel into the fray and cross their fingers.
AAAH! ZOMBIES!! (you should watch this movie’s trailer, it’s freaking hilarious)
The POV is first-person Fennel. Navigating a pack of zombies in the body of a blind character was terrifying. I cringed while reading. The stories told by Fennel’s lofty bodyguard Peree to distract his charge from the rancid crush soothe both Fennel and the reader as they push through the hungry horde.
I’ll admit, the ‘tweener in me is a little hot for Peree.
The Scourge provides closure which I greatly appreciate. The good thing is: even with the secret of The Scourge revealed there is great potential for another book in the series.
I would totally read it.
- Post Script: A lot of indie writers (I use ‘indie’ to mean self-published as opposed to small press) are offering up serial e-books, which is fine (if as prolific and entertaining as WOOL OMNIBUS author Hugh Howey who accidentally serialized an epic tome after his original short story generated such a rabid fan base that he was pretty much forced to write more or perish like Grenouille in Perfume), but I often feel cheated by the author’s assumption that I give enough of a fig to pay more to find out what happens next in a novel they didn’t feel the need to finish before getting paid.
- ***Another edit: January 24, 2013: I have since subscribed to three serialized books and eagerly await the automatic downloads of new chapters. Wonderful treats dropping into my Kindle at random moments. And I paid up front for the whole book so every following installment feels like free stuff when the chapters arrive… so yes, I do give a fig and will pay for serialized novels. Whoduthunk.
- Post Post Script: I will probably serialize some erotica but each episode will have at least one happy ending.
- Edited: to add Hugh Howey’s link